The American had seemed kind, at first, and though his kisses rubbed her raw, she believed in some tender promise of love at their core. She knew he was a hero in his war, but not in the war of her people. With her family gone, stolen in the black smoke at Nagasaki, life as a rich American’s ningyô did not seem so terrible.
She touched her wrists, tracing the scars, invoking the unexpected cruelty of her lover: the bizarre, childlike costumes; numbing agents; the meticulous positioning of her broken joints…
Vera glanced at her watch, lowered the umbrella, and positioned the American’s gas mask over her face. She recalled her Mother’s untraditional choice of ‘Vera’, after Japan’s strongest typhoon.
As the mansion burst into flames behind her, she thought of the American trapped inside… She felt a wave surging inside of her and knew that she was strong- stronger, even, than the Vera who had swallowed thousands of lives.
– originally publ. on flashfriday.wordpress.com